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Big Muff Question

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by route14, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. route14

    route14 Silver Supporting Member

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    I you were going to build a Big Muff clone which one would you clone?

    The old Russian Green, Triangle, or the original NYC model?
     
  2. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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  3. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    Route14, you've got the muffs a little mixed up there...

    The first Big Muff was the triangle knob, in 1970 or something, then in '72 (?) E-H brought out the Ram - or Lamb head-model. After that, in the late 70's and early 80's they had the BM with graphics like the modern E-H reissue.

    E-H went bankrupt in the 80's but in the mid-90's, Mike Mathews, founder of E-H begun making Big Muffs in Russia, where he also had a vacuum tube factory. These are the green muffs, which got the black color scheme at some stage. Then in 2000, E-H came back with the NYC Big Myff reissue.

    BTW. I'm sure lots of the years were wrong therem but who cares!

    Well, back to your question. I'd say the traingle knob is really sweet. Clone that! Or get a really sweet clone by Skreddy, The Mayo.
     
  4. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    Lamb's/Ram's head version gets my vote.
     
  5. Howard Davis

    Howard Davis Member

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    I'd prefer to be innovative - to design something new and better, rather than just copycat someone else's work. That's euphemistically called cloning, but it's really just ripping off. If you're going to "clone," at least make an improvement in the process.

    The audible differences between the several Big Muff models that have been produced over the years are more due to variations in component values/tolerances than to any design changes. Big Muffs are all basically the same 4-transistor design. In the earlier models, from one unit to another you can sometimes find different component values in certain places in the circuit. This may have been due to running out of one value and substituting another in production. Thus you'll sometimes hear tonal differences between vintage units of the same model.

    I prefer the recent NYC reissue Big Muffs for consistency. I do not favor the Russian units, especially the earliest ones, due to lower component and construction quality. As a result these are often not worth repairing or modding due to the difficulty of doing so.

    Guitar pedal design engineering, repairs, and custom mods:
    http://howard.davis2.home.att.net/
     
  6. MrSage

    MrSage Member

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    Hi Howard!

    Have you tried the new Little Big Muffs yet? Are they just standard Big Muffs in smaller cases?
     
  7. Howard Davis

    Howard Davis Member

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    ---------
    I'm not aware of any reissue of the Little Big Muff, of which there were two versions, transistor and IC. I do not work full-time for EH now, but am a consultant to the company, so I'm not always aware of all the new products or reissues they come out with.

    Perhaps you mean the Double Muff, which has two separate two-transisitor fuzz circuits you can use in combination.

    Guitar pedal design engineering, repairs, and custom mods:
    http://howard.davis2.home.att.net/
     
  8. route14

    route14 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I've only gotten into pedal modding/cloning/building in the last year. I certainly don't know enough to build my own pedal. I've always loved the big muff since I first tried one (late 70s "NYC" model) in 92 on a recording I did. I've only ever had one of the black box RIs and it was just okay. Instead of going out and buying an overpriced vintage piece or some boutique builder's BMP clone I want to learn more about it and build one. There is so much info on the net on pedal building there is not reason not to try. I'm already planning on using IMHO better components. Maybe one day I'll "build" my own but for now... cloning is the best I can do. ...and a lot cheaper than over paying for something because it's old.

    So basically I have the specs for the Russian, Triangle, and NYC model courtesy of Tonepad.

    Thanks folks!!!!
    mk
     
  9. master

    master Guest

    The problem with the early muffs (as well as later) is EH
    used to substitute values and parts all the time so it's
    sort of hard to say I want to build a "triangle" or a
    "rams head" big muff. There are dozens of schematics floating
    around and all are most likely correct. I have personally
    seen the insides of many big muffs from these years. I believe
    that EH used what ever they had on hand just to make them
    work. About the only thing I have found that is consistantly
    different about the "rams head" over the "triangle" is the
    output volume (at least) on most of them can go higher,do
    to most having the higher value resistor in the output gain stage.
     
  10. dmhflip

    dmhflip Member

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    I have a euthymia ICBM, the one that's based on the opamp version. Can anyone tell me the years/versions that were changed to opamps briefly? If so, that's the one I'd stick with cloning (though really unnecessary unless you are a hobbyist pedalmaker since there's the ICBM).
     
  11. Howard Davis

    Howard Davis Member

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    The EH IC Big Muff is from 1978. The circuitry is completely different, and it has a distinctive, grungier sound that differs noticeably from any of the transistor-based models.

    Guitar pedal design engineering, repairs, and custom mods:
    http://howard.davis2.home.att.net/
     
  12. Skreddy

    Skreddy Member

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    Did you design that one, Howard?

    It got a bad rap for a few years, based on little more than heresay. Now everyone who's played one is saying they love them, and the ICBM clone sounds incredible.
    :BEER
    You designed some COOL stuff, man; e.g. PolyChorus, etc.
     
  13. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    Howard, thank you for your valuble input on to this board, you have done some great work man. :) To answer that question, EH has put out a new "little big muff". It is not the old version RI'd, rather it looks just like a regular BM (NYC RI), but in a much smaller case, same 3 knobs, not the single knob the old LBM had. Was shown at Namm this year. I am holding off on a new fuzz until I hear that thing. Have always loved the BM, but never bought one because of all the real estate it takes.
     
  14. Howard Davis

    Howard Davis Member

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    --------
    Thanks!

    The "bad rap" for the IC Big Muff was because it didn't sound as "sweet" as the transistor model. Then when people started appreciating the GRUNGE sound and wanted one, they found it was out of production!
     

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